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   This article recently appeared in my local newspaper,  the Traverse City Record Eagle.  It was written to honor (in this Columnist's opinion) a great thinker and leading intellectual who recently was killed by a drunk driver.  As I read this article, it sadden me for many reasons, but mostly because we honor thoughts of man over what God reveals.  By what I gather by this article, Rabbi Sherwin Wine was a wonderful man, who cared deeply for humanity, and that is wonderful.  But I cannot help hurting for this man because He missed out on the most important message the Bible gives all who have eyes to see- Eternal Life through the love of God, a free gift for all who will believe in His Son.  Let me make comments and quote scripture as we read this article together.

07/29/2007

Op-Ed

Rabbi goes from pariah to leading intellectual

Jack Lessenberry By Jack Lessenberry
Columnist
 

FARMINGTON HILLS — Three weeks ago, I had dinner with Rabbi Sherwin Wine, a remarkable man who has evolved from religious pariah to Detroit's leading public intellectual.

He was delightful and full of energy and boundless curiosity as always. He wanted to pick my brains on topics he thought I knew something about. What did I think Jack Kevorkian, suicide doctor, would do now that he was out of jail? Would he hook up again with his flamboyant lawyer, Geoffrey Fieger? Why was Gov. Jennifer Granholm so seemingly inept at running the state?

The waitress, who had been a student of mine, later told me she thought we were about the same age. I wasn't insulted, though I am 55 and the rabbi was 79. What he mainly wanted was for me to agree to give a couple lectures for his Center For New Thinking.

For years, he had spoken on every topic under the sun to rapt audiences hungry for knowledge (Knowledge is vital, and the knowledge that comes from God is the most vital of all.)Lecture series had been a vastly popular 19th-century tradition, and Sherwin Wine had revived them. I have too little time but, naturally, I agreed. You didn't say no to Sherwin. He was one of those people who in many ways was better known nationally and internationally than in his native Detroit.

    The knowledge I seek comes from God.  The Word of God is alive, and we can have understanding of God beyond our imagination.  We should seek God as King Solomon did.  We should have a hearts desire for wisdom and knowledge.  Seek God and you will find him.

2 Chronicles 1: 11-12 11 God said to Solomon, "Since this is your heart's desire and you have not asked for wealth, riches or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, riches and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have."

    My God has given me knowledge because I have earnestly sought Him.  In heaven, I will have wealth, riches, and honor through the love God has for me, and not by my own works.  This is God's plan for all who want to know Him. 

Matthew 7: 8 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Indeed, he was the founder of an entirely new branch of Judaism, what he called Secular Humanistic Judaism.

    I am not a political correct writer.  I believe the Bible is the Word of God and absolute truth, and I can only write form His light He has given me.  What I read above saddens me.  This rabbi created a new sect/religion out of his own mind and belief system...without any evidence to support it..  Jesus himself warned before He was crucified and resurrected that the word of God would be attacked, and false doctrine would attach itself to His truth to lead many astray.  It would be at its worst in the later days.   This is occurring at an alarming rate today.  Political correctness is making it worst.  I am working on a new book that deals with the subject of  the warnings Jesus gave us on false doctrine.  Read on to see why I say Rabbi Sherwin Wine was a false teacher, and why he was leading his followers down a road I would never want to be on.  See why humanists would want to glorify this person and his teaching.

Forty years ago, the rabbi had made newspaper headlines nationally and scandalized the leaders of his faith with a startling announcement. He proclaimed that he was an atheist, and saw no reason to believe in God, but that he intended to remain a rabbi.

    An atheist is always a false teacher and will always teach a false doctrine.  Rabbi Wine saw no reason to believe in God, yet wanted to remain in the faith of Judaism.  How can anyone teach what is in the Word of God if you do not believe in the existence of God?  In the eyes of man, Rabbi Wine may have had some wonderful ideas and taught some good things- but compared to God, his teachings are nothing but filthy rags.  His teachings will never lead you or anyone into the kingdom of God.  It will lead you to sin that will not be forgiven.  Jesus loves children.  We are His children.  He spoke these words of warning to anyone that leads His children astray:

Matthew 18: 5-7 5"And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. 6But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

 7"Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come!

    We human beings must humble ourselves and understand we are unclean in God's eyes.  Our sins will destroy us if we do not seek the truth God reveals in the Bible.

Isaiah 64: 6
 6 All of us have become like one who is unclean,
       and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
       we all shrivel up like a leaf,
       and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

    We must humble ourselves, and know God is so much greater than us in order to enter the kingdom of God.  Humble ourselves, and we can become great in God's kingdom.

Matthew 18: 1-4  1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"  2He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Judaism and a Jewish identity were vastly important, he argued, a matter of a shared history, culture and a system of ethics that every Jew rightly should revere. But as he told Time magazine, "I find no adequate reason to accept the existence of a supreme person.”

    Rabbi Wine will be without excuse:

Romans 1: 20 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

    I do not want to seem harsh, but who cares if Rabbi Wine saw no adequate reason to accept the existence of God.  Who is Rabbi Wine?  He is only a man, just as I am only a man.  The best I can do is present the evidence that the Bible is true.  Ultimately, each person must decide for oneself if he or she is going to accept that the Bible is the Word of God.  To me, the evidence is overwhelming, and I have written well  over 50 chapters now presenting the evidence that Josh McDowell did so aptly put, "Evidence that demands a verdict".  My book, "I See Him!...I See Him!  God's Word to Witness By" has 39 chapters of presenting the evidence from the Bible, as well as scientific evidence for one to research on their own.  I truly believe that every person will be without excuse when Jesus Christ returns.  I pray we will all be ready.

Nor, he told the reform congregation he was leading, could he pretend any longer. He met with a group of eight families who were supportive and proclaimed his desire to start a new kind of temple.

He was shunned and attacked by most of the establishment. How dare this upstart young rabbi deny the existence of God?

Calmly, he replied that the Holocaust had shown that "there isn't any magic power,” that it was up to us to be good to each other.

    The sentence above that Rabbi Wine spoke has one part I can agree with.  God is NOT SOME MAGICAL POWER.  HE IS OUR CREATOR AND THE GOD OF WONDERS. 

Psalms 40: 5

5 Many, O LORD my God,
       are the wonders you have done.
       The things you planned for us
       no one can recount to you;
       were I to speak and tell of them,
       they would be too many to declare.

    I disagree with Rabbi Wine that the Holocaust shows that there is no God.  It does, however; give evidence that the Bible is true-WE LIVE IN A FALLEN WORLD WHERE EVIL EXISTS.  Only the Bible has an explanation from where evil came from, and how evil started at the very beginning of time.

The local paper, the Jewish News, for years refused to write about him or his activities. But a funny thing happened. What he was preaching struck a chord. It turned out there were lots of Jews who believed as he did. They valued their traditions, but had no faith.

    How sad!  No faith.  The Bible declares without faith there is no pleasing God.

Hebrews 11: 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

The eight families turned into hundreds of families who now make up the membership of the Birmingham Temple, which is actually in nearby Farmington Hills.

    False teachers will bring destruction to themselves and all who follow.

2 Peter 2: 1 1But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.

Rabbi Wine kept traditional services and celebrated the holidays, but with a difference. Instead of saying "you shall love the Lord your God,” they said "We revere the best in man.”

    The sentence above that was spoken by Rabbi Wine scares me the most.  To put man on a pedestal and forget about God is to me UNTHINKABLE.  Where will this type of belief lead to?  What hope is there in eternity that I should put my faith in man?  I follow the two most important commandments Jesus gave us; that is far superior than what Rabbi Wine taught:

Luke 10: 25-28 25On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

 26"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"

 27He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself."

 28"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."

He called what he believed humanism and said that "like all other religions, it enables man to relate himself to his universe.”

   I want eternal life, and a personal relationship with God my Creator.  I could care less about how man relates to his universe. I want to be a child of God.  The Bible declares by accepting Jesus, you do become His child.

John 1: 12-13 12Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.

His movement grew. To his surprise, other congregations elsewhere in the country took the same path. Today, the Society for Humanistic Judaism has more than 10,000 members and more than 30 congregations, at least one on every continent except Africa and Antarctica. Many more traditional Reform congregations have moved closer to the philosophy Wine was preaching.

    People are looking for answers.  We are spiritual beings, not just physical as the Rabbi believed and taught.  Rabbi Wine has denied this, and is leading many to destruction.  God warns us not to be fooled.  I am warning you right now as you read.  Why do I do this?  Because GOD IS LOVE.   He has placed his Spirit in me, and I cannot resist Him.  I evangelize because I love others.  It is love that comes from knowing God.

For years, Wine was the only rabbi who would perform mixed marriages between Jews and gentiles, many of whom promptly joined the Birmingham Temple. He thought the faith needed to be more inclusive. He said as far as he was concerned, anyone who called themselves a Jew or who identified with the struggles of the Jewish people was a Jew.

"Look, we've clearly been doing something wrong,” he joked. "After all these millennia there are a billion Chinese and 13 million of us.”

Daniel Cohn-Sherbok, a distinguished professor of Judaism at the University of Wales, called Wine one of the most important Jewish thinkers of the last 2,000 years.

    The greatest Jewish thinker came into this world approx. 2,000 years ago.  This Rabbi had a humble beginning.  His ministry lasted only three years.  He was persecuted and was nailed to a cross.  What makes him different than any other teacher is that after he was buried, by the power of God, He arose again from the grave.  Scripture declares He is the Son of God.  His proof was His resurrection.  Because of His resurrection, all who hope in Him will be resurrected also.  This is what the Bible declares from Genesis to the Book of Revelation.  Do you have faith?

John 11: 25-26 25Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

The rabbi was in a relaxed mood when I last saw him. He and his longtime companion, Richard McMains, were going on a rare vacation to Morocco. On July 21, they had dinner in a restaurant near Casablanca, left the restaurant and got in a cab. Minutes later, the cab was crushed by another driver who was supposedly drunk.

Sherwin Wine and the cab driver died instantly.

    I am not asking you to judge Rabbi Wine, but based on this article and the Bible, Where do you think the Rabbi is spending eternity?  Did he make his own choice?  Did he make the right choice?

The Rev. Harry Cook, an Episcopal priest who was a close friend and collaborator, was to speak at the funeral.

    This Rev. Harry Cook I do not know, but I would be interested in what he believes about God and the absolute truth of the Bible.  I looked him up on the internet, but I could not come to any conclusions what he believes.

He thinks Wine would be remembered long after the politicians and televised preachers of the day are forgotten.

"His was a life of courage. He was his own person, and his footprint will not be erased anytime soon,” he said.

    We humans, especially we Americans, value individualism.  But this type of individualism is arrogant because it denies the existence of God.  It puts mankind on a pedestal, to the point we become gods ourselves.  Once God put a man called Job in his place.  In chapter 40 in the book of Job, God asks Job (and every human being) if we are like Him.  God is asking you this right now. 

He asks:

Job 40: 6-14 6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:

 7 "Brace yourself like a man;
       I will question you,
       and you shall answer me.

 8 "Would you discredit my justice?
       Would you condemn me to justify yourself?

    Is this not what we do?  We do not obey God and we justify what we do by discrediting the word of God.  By doing so, we reject God to justify our way of wanting to live in sin.

 9 Do you have an arm like God's,
       and can your voice thunder like his?

 10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
       and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.

   In Verses 9 and 10 above,  God asks if you are a god!  God says that if you can answer yes, then go ahead and adorn yourself with glory and splendor as if you are a god.  I could never be so arrogant, but we mortals are coming so close to doing just that.  In our arrogance man is saying to God in so many ways-We set the rules and not you!  We do not need your moral laws or even you.  I pray you are not saying this to God by the way you live your life.

    God continues, and tells us if we are a god then we should:

 11 Unleash the fury of your wrath,
       look at every proud man and bring him low,

 12 look at every proud man and humble him,
       crush the wicked where they stand.

 13 Bury them all in the dust together;
       shroud their faces in the grave.

    If you can prove yourself to be a god, look what the true God of the universe says He will do:

 14 Then I myself will admit to you
       that your own right hand can save you.

    Can you save yourself?

    This chapter was written for one reason: to present that there are many belief systems trying to pull us away from the sound doctrine of Jesus Christ.  We are living in a time where many will believe anything that tickles their ear. 

2 Timothy 4: 2-4 2Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

    May the God of the Bible be the one you have all hope in.  I am praying all of us will be protected in the truth of God's holy word.

God loves you and so do I!

     This  book is written to declare that Jesus Christ is God's Word.  He is the Messiah the Jewish people are looking for.  He is the Savior of the world for all people.  This is the truth: Jesus did not come into the world to save Christians...He came to save the world....everyone...all tribes....every tongue. 
    If you are a follower of Jesus Christ already- can you be a witness and be able to give sound evidence and reason to another human being if he or she asked you why you believe in Him?  Are you prepared to witness to a lost world?  Would you like to be? Do you have lost loved ones and friends you want to reach? My book is for you.
    If you do not know who Jesus Christ is and would like to see the evidence in the Bible and what it teaches, my book is for you.
    If you would like to do a Bible study on creation, prophecy, heaven, hell, and much more...my book is for you.

    There is something for everyone in this book.  If you want to be inspired and find hidden gems in the word of God the time is now.  Click on "Buy Ken's book Now" and get started seeing Jesus in many exciting ways.

God bless you!

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